Dubai is so much more than just a holiday destination and is at the centre of regional commerce, as well as being a meeting point between east and west. Its location and thriving economy makes it a popular location for everything from business meetings to international trade shows and major conferences.
Having the world’s busiest airport also helps! Dubai is hyperconnected and welcomed just shy of 16 million visitors last year who had their choice of more than 100,000 hotel rooms. It is also home to world-class attractions such as Burj Khalifa and The Dubai Mall, which are visited by almost every traveller arriving in the emirate.
When it comes to meetings and events, Dubai World Trade Centre leads the way at this point of time. The impressive convention centre attracts more than three million business visitors a year and comprises more than one million square feet of multipurpose space, including the Trade Centre Arena - the largest indoor arena in the Middle East.
Finding a place to stay that offers easy access to Dubai World Trade Centre is a top priority for most business travellers to the city, as during busy trade shows the transportation network is stretched and it can be challenging getting to and from locations away from the immediate vicinity.
During the Arab Health show in January, I chose to stay at the new Rove Trade Centre and was immediately relieved as more than 100,000 visitors from 150+ countries descended on the venue throughout the event which took over the entire Dubai World Trade Centre exhibition and conference space.
It was a great time to discover the new hotel, which is on the immediate doorstep of the venue and was created specially for the city’s burgeoning business events sector.
I’ve stayed at a lot of business hotels around the world for conferences and exhibitions and to be honest I can barely remember much about any of them. Most are ubiquitous and serve a function as a place to flop after a busy day of treading the trade show aisles. Rove Trade Centre though stood out for a couple of reasons.
My first impression was ‘Whoah, this isn’t your normal business hotel!’. The decor is funky, hip and I felt like I had entered a trendy friend’s loft apartment. But design doesn’t overtake function and I was equally amazed with the level of connectivity.
It is a fact that most major exhibition facilities are built away from the city, so you are stuck with the choice of either commuting to the venue, or jumping in public transport to reach your choice of entertainment in the evening. That can leave you pretty tired after a day or two! But Rove Trade Centre is a very short hop from the plethora of dining and leisure attractions of Downtown Dubai, which I was more than happy to check out.
Back to the hotel though, I usually despise having to pay for WiFi so I was relieved to find a complimentary high-speed connection available from my room, as well as a 48-inch interactive TV screen with a smart media hub for tech-savvy guests. This worked perfectly to mirror a presentation from my iPhone when I ran through it with a colleague who was also staying at Rove Hotels.
I must admit that I had a look at the 24-hour gym, and even brought my kit, but this time the intention to workout didn’t translate to movement. Top marks though for the facilities, if not for me, as it had all the cardio and strength training equipment to suit even the most ardent fitness fanatic.
I did try the 24-hour laundry service and when we had a client interested in more information, we used one of the meeting rooms that could be booked by the hour. This saved some money and even our client was impressed by the unusual venue that was a welcome break from the show hall.
The Daily Trade Centre was a great spot to grab lunch, again escaping the crowds. So all in all, I have to say that I probably spent 30% more time at Rove Hotels, than I do normally at a hotel when attending a trade show. If you haven’t discovered a Rove Hotels propety yet, you should check-in soon to check it out!
Emma S. is a Dubai resident and an avid traveller